"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power." - Thomas Jefferson 1820

"There is a growing technology of testing that permits us now to do in nanoseconds things that we shouldn't be doing at all." - Dr. Gerald Bracey author of Rotten Apples in Education

Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Spelling lesson for the day via Jay Nixon: INCONGRUOUS

A spelling lesson and use of the word "incongruous" opens this posting...while looking at the Missouri DESE website, I came across this proclamation signed by Governor Jay Nixon:

The second week of September was designated as "Parent and Family Involvement Week" by the state legislature in 2008. The proclamation in part states:

  • Whereas: "Parent and Family Involvement Week recognizes that parent and family involvement in a child's education is an important factor in determining success in school..."
I agree with that statement. How sincere that proclamation is from the governor...I have my doubts. This is from the same governor who wanted our state to receive Race to the Top funding. In the original 800 page document sent to the states, the Federal Government wanted NO input from parents on the writing of the mandates. In the 300 page DESE proposal for Missouri, parents were not even considered important stakeholders in the child's education:

Scroll to page 11. DESE is explaining what Race to the Top entails, the process, and the "actors" involved in this educational mandate. Remember the proclamation Governor Nixon signed for this week, "Parent and Family Involvement Week". Now read the language of the proposal for this Federal Mandate:

"These transformative activities, which are the heart of Missouri's reform plan, will actively involve and impart all actors in the education system:

  • Individuals (most notably students, teachers and principals)

  • Education organizations (unions, reform organizations)

  • Educational institutions--LEAs, Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs), DESE, Department of Higher Education (DHE), early education providers.

Dear reader, did you spot who was left out of this list? This list supposedly listed ALL the actors in the education system, correct? This is exactly what was published in the original proposal for Race to the Top funds. The list does not include parents. Parents are not considered an integral part of the educational system by the individuals controlling the system.

Do you find this a bit disingenuous? Governor Nixon signed a document which states parent and family involvement is an important factor in determining a child's success in school...but parents have not been involved in the decision to sign away our local and state educational control via adopting common core standards. Parents are not involved in the planning for "Vision for Missouri Public Education", which, in reality, is Race to the Top. The title is different, but the federal control of state education remains the same:


The proclamation ends with the governor encouraging "all residents to observe this event through activities that will bring about an increased awareness of the importance of parent and family involvement in a child's education." I have a suggestion for an activity which would increase awareness of the importance of parent and family involvement in a child's education...I propose Chris Nicastro invite parents and taxpayers to help develop the comprehensive vision for Missouri public schools.

Currently our education system is being "transformed" by school board members and administrators according to their vision for our schools. Granted, some school board members are parents...but wouldn't it be a novel idea to involve parents/taxpayers who have volunteered to serve on such a board, who are not appointed, and whose motivation is not to promote an preconceived Federal educational agenda? Can you imagine or dare to dream of a comprehensive vision for Missouri public schools that focused on the children (not the "actors" in the Race to the Top language) and the sovereign right of the state to educate those children?

As a previous posting stated, parents are considered "inconsequential conduits"...we are only there to provide the students and the money to fund the program. Other than that, we are to go along with whatever the system has deemed appropriate.

The motives and actions of Jay Nixon, Chris Nicastro and the State Board of Education don't align with this proclamation. It's currently not worth the paper on which it's written. It's incongruous: it is inconsistent within itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it clean and constructive. We reserve the right to delete comments that are profane, off topic, or spam.

Site Meter